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Workshop: Land/scaping Taiwan: (Non-)Humans, Environment, and Moments of Encounter

Chen Kai-Huang, cloning taiwan (2000-2001)

September 18, 2023

On September 25 and 26, the Taiwan Studies Program will bring a dozen scholars for an in-person workshop on the theme of “Land/scaping Taiwan.”

Landscapes often exist as material records, surrounding environments, or representations. We propose to move beyond these frameworks to see landscapes as embodied modes of habitation and of human and non-human encounters with the land in which ongoing processes of acting in and with the world take place. By focusing on processes of encounter, occupation, and mediation, we also seek to redefine “land” more broadly, for example on human interactions with natural, social, and imagined worlds, or alternate -scapes such as waterscapes, bodyscapes, technoscapes, mediascapes, cyberscapes, etc.

Taiwan has long been a compelling site of ecological heterogeneity, cultural multiplicities, and geopolitical contestation. Its landscapes embody the complex interactions and negotiations between the different waves of human occupation and their environment. With its natural and cultural diversities, Taiwan becomes a productive site for the theorization of land/scaping as an epistemological shift from landscape (noun) to landscape (verb).
Landscaping as a critical concept beyond the confines of existing representations unfolds the heuristic potential for remapping both Taiwan and Taiwan Studies. Such methodological reframing brings to the fore the tension between the notion of perspective and the interlocking web of land(s), landscape(s) and landscaping.

Co-hosted with the College of Built Environments. Financial support generously provided by the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation. Additional sponsorship provided by the Department of Asian Languages and Literature and the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities.